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Success Second Time Around
I had my first daughter in the Summer of 2000. The end of my pregnancy was really hard, and I developed complications which left me sick and exhausted by the time my daughter was born via c-section. At birth, she had low blood sugar, and so was given some formula to bring it back up while in the hospital. I really, really had wanted to breastfeed her, but had such difficulty because she just would not wake up. She was so sleepy, and when woken to feed would suck a few times and fall back to sleep. Everyone told me that this was just great, that it was wonderful to have such a good sleeper. But my gut told me something was wrong. We made it two weeks breastfeeding, and suddenly my daughter (who never cried) screamed for 6 hours straight. It was like she suddenly woke up and said "Hey, I'm really starving here mom!" We rushed her to the emergency room, because this was a baby that never cried, and we were very afraid something was terribly wrong. Well, when we got there and she was weighed, she hadn't put on any weight since leaving the hospital. She was simply too tired to stimulate me to make more milk. As this was my first time with this motherhood thing, I didn't know that it was not normal to not get engorged when she went a long time between feedings (at least in the beginning of breastfeeding). I was so exhausted and sick and worried about my daughter that we gave her some formula. We were going to try a combo of breast and formula, but she wanted nothing to do with the breast after the formula. Unfortunately, my first experience with breastfeeding was exhausting and horrible, and I was devastated when it didn't work out.
Fast forward two years, and we welcomed daughter #2 in September 2002. I had the same complications at the end of my pregnancy, but much better medication, so was not as ill when my daughter was born. She was also born via c-section, but she came out ready to breastfeed. She loves the breast (so much that she wants nothing to do with a bottle). This time around, I had decided that I would try to breastfeed, but I wouldn't allow myself to be devastated if it didn't work out. I had much more confidence in my body's ability to provide food for my child and was much more prepared for the sheer volume of time that I would spend feeding a newborn. While it wasn't easy (I did get blisters and bleeding nipples for a few weeks, and it was exhausting in the beginning), we stuck with it and have now made it over two months. Truly, each baby is different, and I am so happy that I decided to give breastfeeding a try with my second child!